|Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916.|
Vol. I. Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century
|By Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (15541628)|
From the Life of Sir Philip Sidney
ABOVE all, he made the Religion he professed, the firm basis of his life: for this was his judgementas he often told methat our true-heartedness to the Reformed Religion in the beginning, brought peace and safety and freedom to us; concluding, that the wisest and best way, was that of the famous William Prince of Orange, who never divided the consideration of Estate from the consideration of Religion, nor gave that sound party occasion to be jealous, or distracted, upon any appearance of safety whatsoever; prudently resolving, that to temporize with the enemies of our Faith, was butas among sea-gullsa strife, not to keep upright, but aloft upon the top of every billow: which falseheartedness to God and man, would in the end find it self forsaken of both; as Sir Philip conceived. For to this active spirit of his, all depths of the devil proved but shallow fords; he piercing into mens counsels and ends, not by their words, oaths, or compliments, all barren in that age, but by fathoming their hearts and powers, by their deeds, and found no wisdom where he found no courage, nor courage without wisdom, nor either without honesty and truth. With which solid and active reaches of his, I am persuaded, he would have found, or made a way through all the traverses, even of the most weak and irregular times. But it pleased God in this decrepit age of the world, not to restore the image of her ancient vigour in him, otherwise than as in a lightning before death.